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Leafs likely to put defenceman Robidas on injured reserve to start the season

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TORONTO - It appears Stephane Robidas will not be part of the Toronto Maple Leafs' immediate plans.

The Maple Leafs need to make one more move to get down to a 23-player active roster by Tuesday's deadline, and it's believed that the veteran defenceman will be placed on injured reserve to make the roster legal.

Robidas was not at practice on Monday morning as he's dealing with multiple ailments, according to head coach Mike Babcock.

"His knee has been sore all camp, it's affecting his groin now," Babcock said. "We've known that he's been hurting and obviously it got to a point ? sometimes that's the way it is with injuries.

"He had an off day yesterday, came in today and he did what he's supposed to do to try to get ready to go and he was unable to go."

The 38-year-old, who is set to enter the second season of his three-year, US$9-million contract, played in three pre-season games registering one assist. Robidas most recently played 18 minutes 30 seconds in Friday's 4-2 pre-season loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

While questions remain on the blue line, Babcock knows how his goaltenders will share the net for the first week of the season.

Jonathan Bernier will start both Wednesday's season-opener against the Montreal Canadiens and Friday's game in Detroit while James Reimer will get the start in the second half of the back-to-back on Saturday night when Toronto plays host to the Ottawa Senators.

"I've known this for a long time that (Bernier is) starting and he's starting on Wednesday and he's starting on Friday. Reims is starting on Saturday," said Babcock.

"(Bernier is) a good skater, he's smart, he's worked hard at his game. He worked hard this summer and I think he's shown that he can be a real good goaltender. We expect him to have a much better year. Reims has worked real hard at his game this summer too and had a real good exhibition schedule as well."

Bernier gets the start in the home opener despite Reimer posting the better numbers during the pre-season. Reimer posted a 2.57 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in four games while Bernier had a 3.17 goals-against average and an .882 save percentage.

"I was really happy with the way I played in pre-season. I worked hard this summer, put in a lot of work and was really diligent so I'm happy with the pre-season wins, but at the same time it was the pre-season," Reimer said. "Babcock made his decision about who is playing in the first three games and obviously I'm going in on Saturday so I'm looking forward to that opportunity."

Note: The Leafs placed T.J. Brennan, Andrew Campbell, Sam Carrick, Matt Frattin and Byron Froese on waivers Monday.

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